Alexander Averin

Monday, 23 August 2010

Connemara Blues

Dear Diary,

Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

John Keats

I’ve changed my header picture today, I hope you like it?  It’s where I would like to be today.….in a Connemara early morning amongst all its blueness, walking with Kitty my collie by the waterside.  I remember the first time I visited Connemara on a camping holiday as a teenager and falling in love with its complete ‘unspoiltness‘, with the ponies, the coastline, the wildness and its green marble.  I remember camping there again by the sea in my twenties and bathing in the sea -  hidden amongst the rocks we found a sheltered pool, the soap wouldn’t lather but we managed to get clean.  A precious memory. Those were the days when you could strike camp almost anywhere, we travelled all round Ireland and hardly ever went to proper sites.  It rained a lot of course and I remember moving the tent round as the wind changed direction so many times. 

I love the blues in Alan Cotton’s painting, blue is such a healing colour and I have an affinity with this shade., it is after all the same blue that is found in many a colleen’s eyes.   This blue in Irish eyes has a strong gene connected to it and it has been passed down to my daughter and to all her daughters as well; people have commented on it.

It is a quiet morning here, very still and gentle with not a breath of wind -  there is a steady rain falling but it is warm one and I have just been out to feed the birds so they are happy.   My plants are enjoying the recent rainfall and have put on quite a spurt in growth which is good.

A borrower has seen a hummingbird hawkmoth locally, it has been visiting her buddleia shrub so that is exciting; we managed to identify it from a book in the library.  I’ve never seen or heard one myself. .. yet.

Talking of moths, I am not sure if I have ever mentioned The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams.  I can highly recommend this novel, give it a try, you don’t have to have an interest in the moth species, I promise.

And talking of books I have to quickly read the memoir, The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison for our Purplecoo book group.  I have avoided it because I am not in the mood for its subject matter but I must show willing and give an opinion.

A poetry book beckons too as Jo Shapcott has a new volume of poetry out called Mutability (great title).
Here is a taste of it.


This tea, this cup of tea, made of leaves,
made of the leaves of herbs and absolute
almond blossom, this tea, is the interpreter
of almond, liquid touchstone which lets us
scent its true taste at last and with a bump
in my case, takes me back to the yellow time
of trouble with blood tests, and cellular
madness, and my presence required
on the slab for surgery, and all that mess
I don't want to comb through here because
it seems, honestly, a trifle now that steam
and scent and strength and steep and infusion
say thank you thank you thank you for the then, and now

Jo Shapcott

I am so enjoying Vexed a  black comedy on TV, on BBC2 on Sunday nights - at last I have found a comedy that actually makes me laugh and smile all the way through, I suspect I may be in a minority here, it is quite dark, very un-politically correct but so very funny.  Some say the acting is bad and the humour cruel but I don’t think they ‘get it’ and personally I think the acting is excellent.  I have yet to read a good review of it but that worries me not a bit, it is my kind of humour.

But I shall end as I began with Connemara and a poem by dear old WBY.

The Fisherman

Although I can see him still—
The freckled man who goes
To a gray place on a hill
In gray Connemara clothes
At dawn to cast his flies—
It's long since I began
To call up to the eyes
This wise and simple man.   
All day I'd looked in the face   
What I had hoped it would be   
To write for my own race   
And the reality:   
The living men that I hate,   
The dead man that I loved,   
The craven man in his seat,  
The insolent unreproved—
And no knave brought to book   
Who has won a drunken cheer—
The witty man and his joke  
Aimed at the commonest ear,   
The clever man who cries  
The catch cries of the clown, 
The beating down of the wise  
And great Art beaten down.
Maybe a twelve-month since
Suddenly I began,
In scorn of this audience,
Imagining a man,
And his sun-freckled face
And gray Connemara cloth,
Climbing up to a place
Where stone is dark with froth,
And the down turn of his wrist
When the flies drop in the stream—
A man who does not exist,
A man who is but a dream;  
And cried,
“Before I am old  
I shall have written him one   
Poem maybe as cold   
And passionate as the dawn.”

William Butler Yeats

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Tom Foolery said...

Love the new headder and poems. I've had a wee little facelift over at my blog, a new image, so too speak. Must check out this black comedy TV show, my sort of humour too. TFx

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Every word.
Every picture.
I should like to be in Connemara today, too!

Lane said...

That's a stunning header. In fact the whole blog looks wonderful.

Blue does it for me too, in all its hues.

mollygolver said...

Cait - your blogs do for me what sunshine does for the first day of Spring. I love your new header and 'blue' is my favourite colour.

Fennie said...

I'm afraid I've always liked the name more than the place which always seemed to me to be gloomy, dark, wet and suffused with peat. If it was in Wales it would be called Splott. Leave it to the salmon and the turf cutters.

Marcheline said...

Love the new header pic! Great poems, and I looked up that book on Amazon to read the synopsis. Folks who reviewed it mostly thought it started out okay but got boring at the end. Ah well, can't all be winners.

Toni aka irishlas said...

What lovely memories of Connemara you have!
It is such a beautiful place.

Love the header and the poem.

Posie Rosie said...

I love the new header Cait, it has so much atmosphere you are immediately drawn into it. You showcase so many talented and creative people through your blog.I spent my childhood holidays wild camping in Scotland x

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CAMILLA said...

Hello Cait,

I love John Keats Poetry, I have a book of his here along with a postcard size picture of the Poet, sent to me moons ago by a dear admirer.!

I so love your beautiful Header of Swift feeding her chick in the nest.

You have wrote about Connemara so affectionately, one could only hope to visit there, as I hope you will too again one day Cait.

I share the same view of the colour Blue, such a healing colour, and Alan Cotton's painting is so delightful.

Thank you for the info of Poppy Adams book of Moths. I spotted last month a most beautiful what I thought orange butterfly with circles on tips of it's wings near our Bhudlia bush. On searching on the internet and books, I can find no trace of it. Wondering if maybe it was a Hawk Moth?

Lovely post Cait, thank you for sharing with us.